Saturday, February 26, 2005

What Century Is This Anyway?

Site of reference:,0,3204753,print.story?coll=sns-ap-world-headlines

The Associated Press is reporting of a dark chapter in Dakar, Senegal. The AP reports, “Homosexuality is such a deeply ingrained taboo here that it is punishable by law as an act against nature. The threat of violence and rejection, experts say, is scaring gays away from treatment and making them a high-risk group in a country that has been spared the ravages of AIDS seen elsewhere in Africa.” Ignorance or turning a blind eye will end up killing more and more in Senegal. The last thing the continent of Africa needs is for more people to die of AIDS. Aids is not just a homosexual disease evidenced by the many cases that prove otherwise. Even if gay men or women get the AIDS virus should we turn our back and let them die? Certainly not especially if a film about someone who is gay gets nominated for the academy awards, right? The war of public opinion can be confidently changed when it enters the mainstream. But it seems that the immediate turn of a blind eye to the people of South Africa is constantly amazing. Still the color of someone’s skin is used as a barometer to determine whether they should live or not. If the situation of AIDS in Africa were to be played on television as much as the effects of the Tsunami recently were, and in fact the Tsunami killed over a hundred thousand where AIDS has killed millions in Africa, then the world would be forced to see for themselves the terror in the eyes of the children, the horror of the parents holding a child that will die in a matter of days. The AP reports, “Doctors say that because gays fear revealing their sexual orientation during medical examinations, many carriers of HIV may be afraid to visit medical facilities and may not know they are infected.” Ignorance can kill and as evidenced by the recent events in Senegal, it will continue.

- Chris Mansel

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